All Mountain Mamas have provided a ski season checklist for families looking to prepare themselves for a winter season full of skiing and riding in Vermont.
Snowfall, opening days, ski racing! It may not quite feel like it in your neck of the woods yet but winter is here in Vermont. Are you prepared? If not, we got you covered with our quick and easy ski season checklist to get you and your family winterized.
Ski and Snowboard Gear
Hard goods don’t have to be hard. If you’re heading to the mountain, many have rentals available directly on the slope. You can grab your rentals and go! Look into hours because these rental shops can get busy and many are combating that by offering evening hours so you can grab your gear when you arrive and then head directly to the chairlift in the morning.
Rent at home. If you live within a few hours of a mountain, there will likely also be ski shops that offer rentals. This makes for one less task you have to do when you arrive at the resort.
Pro tip: if you think you’ll be heading to the mountains multiple times throughout the winter, ask about a seasonal rental. This is also great for kids who are growing fast as many will let you trade up throughout the season.
And then there’s all the clothing. Check out this article on dressing for success for the base layer breakdown. I always pack spare socks and mittens for my kid as she is usually making snowmen and once those hands are wet, there’s no getting warm. Best to just swap them out for dry mittens.
More tips on gear and packing can be found here.
In my mind, the hardest part of pre-season is deciding where to go. It’s exciting and there’s a lot of factors like lodging, location, amenities, and cost, to name a few. However the biggest decision for our larger family has always been, what do they have for the kids? Lessons? Childcare? Other activities?
How old are your kids? Most Vermont mountains offer private and group lessons for a variety of ages and ability levels, however if your kids are younger (think ages 2-5) look for the resorts that offer some form of lessons and/or childcare specifically for this age. My little ripper is 3, so if we want to put her in lessons, this does limit us somewhat to resorts that offer programming for this age.
Check out Ski Vermont’s Mountain Finder to help you find which mountain is best for your family.
Lessons are a great way to get your kid out on the hill and help them gain confidence. Every mountain has slightly different offerings outlined on their website, some even allow you to book online. Often the best move is to call the resort directly to book your lessons, this way you can ask questions and make sure you’re putting your kids in the right lessons. This can take a little time during the busy season, so just carve out a bit of time and get exactly what you need.
Many resorts offer on-site lodging, even ski-in/ski-out. Or, if they don’t, there’s usually some great options in the surrounding area. Here’s the inside tip: if your dates are somewhat flexible check out the “Lodging Deals” page of your preferred resorts website. They will typically have some pretty great offers that can include everything from lift tickets to additional activities. You can also call and ask about any deals they might be offering. Deals come out all season, so be sure to check back regularly.
Read more about mountain lodging options here.
Passes and Tickets
While many lodging packages include lift tickets, if yours doesn’t you’re gonna need one to hit the slopes. Many resorts offer lift ticket deals, especially if you’re going to be there for multiple days. Check out this list of just a few of the deals Vermont resorts are promoting this season.
Are you a passholder at another resort or have a multi-resort pass like the Indy Pass? Check out the benefits your pass might offer you at Vermont resorts and be sure to read the fine print. While some offer direct-to-lift access, others require you to visit a ticket window in order to pick up your ticket for the day.
We’ll see you on the slopes!
Sarah Borodaeff is a freelance writer, project manager, and tiny person wrangler. A snowsports enthusiast, Sarah has worked in the snowsports industry for over fifteen years as a ski coach, in marketing, and most recently as an associate editor for Ski Area Management. She is currently endeavoring to keep up with a toddler whose favorite phrase is “go outside!”